Southern California sent 24 boys divided into two squads to the Las Vegas Invitational High School Rugby 7’s.
Coaches Allen Andrews and Jason Raven had to be pleased with their selections after taking the Cup with one squad and seeing their 2nds perform well in the Plate.
The SoCal Select Side went 2-1 in winning its pool Thursday, and then roared through the Cup playoffs Friday, defeating British Columbia 1 32-7 in the Final.
"We allowed only four tries in the entire seven match tournament," said Allen, who is the backs coach for the Torrey Pines HS Varsity.
Meanwhile, the SoCal 2nd side also went 2-1 in pool play, and was slotted into the Plate tournament where they lost a tight semifinal before beating Herriman for third place.
The two squads were pulled together by Andrews and Raven, the backs coach at Cathedral HS, and a coach of North San Diego County College Club. The 24 boys practiced together for three consecutive Sundays. They included players from Belmont Shores, Back Bay, Old Aztecs, and Cathedral Catholic High School. Over half the squad was drawn from the Torrey Pines High School Varsity and Junior Varsity teams.
Select side scrum half Ethan Bitticks (Old Aztecs) distributed the ball nicely throughout, and surprised several opponents with a dummy out of the scrum while keeping the ball and circling out of the pack for a try or long gainer. The select side used mobility and hands to allow wing Jake Goena (junior, Torrey Pines HS/Mustangs) to lead the squad in scoring. The Raby brothers, senior Jonathan and sophomore Torran, from Torrey Pines HS/Mustangs, both started in the front line for the Selects and used their rugby experience and savvy to good effect. Ed Tandy (Tustin/Back Bay), who has a full ride to play linebacker for Cal, Aisea Tongilava (Wilson HS/Belmont), and Drew Gaffney (Cathedral HS/Mustangs), who is headed to Cal for rugby, also made their presence known.